The project is rebuilding parts of the UND infrastructure at GFK

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A construction project to rebuild much of UND’s critical flight operations infrastructure is underway at Grand Forks Airport.

Efforts I startedn mid-May to demolish and rebuild parts of there “Bravo apron”, on the north side of the Jean D Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences Air Operations Building.

The existing concrete apron – used to taxi aircraft to and from the runway – is crumbling, posing a potential safety hazard to students and those aircraft.

The project is funded by an appropriation of $5 million from the Legislative Assembly. This is the most recent initiative to improve infrastructure for aviation students at GFK.

In 2016, much of the “Charlie” apron, located south of the Flight Ops Building, was rebuilt as part of a similar project.

The “Bravo” deck is expected to be completed later this summer, and the new decks are expected to be used for decades.

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(UND photo)

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(UND press release:)

A construction project to rebuild much of UND’s critical flight operations infrastructure is underway at Grand Forks International Airport (GFK).

Efforts began in mid-May to demolish and rebuild portions of the Bravo apron on the north side of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences’ Air Operations Building. The existing concrete apron – used to taxi aircraft to and from the runway – is crumbling, posing a potential safety hazard to students and those aircraft.

The project is funded by an appropriation of $5 million from the Legislative Assembly. This is the most recent initiative to improve the infrastructure needed by GFK aviation students. In 2016, much of the Charlie Apron, located south of the Flight Ops Building, was rebuilt as part of a similar project. The Bravo deck is expected to be completed later this summer, and the new decks are expected to be used for decades.

“The causeway is definitely not glamorous, and no one wants their name on it, so we’ve worked very hard to deliver a strong message to the North Dakota Legislative Assembly over a six-year period,” Kim Kenville said. , aviation teacher. “Our delegation was able to see the benefits of the project, and they and their colleagues found money and allocated it to the University.”

Kenville added, “It is with great gratitude that we see this ramp reconstruction entering its final stages.”

The safety risks posed by the old Bravo apron center on what is called “FOD,” or foreign object debris. As the concrete of the old deck crumbles, it leaves behind small chunks and splinters. The thrust generated by aircraft taxiing can send this debris flying into another aircraft or a student walking on the tarmac. Students who see such debris are taught to pick up the pieces and deposit them in specially marked boxes set up around the area; but as the concrete degrades further, other pieces appear.

Dick Schultz, director of flight operations, said that after observing its crumbling nature, GFK officials temporarily closed the ramp a few years ago. A $15,000 repair job was only a temporary fix.

Like Kenville, Schultz expressed his gratitude for the funding and new infrastructure he will provide.

“So far we’ve only survived patchwork, which puts us in a much better position,” he said.

In 2015, the initiative was expected to cost $16 million. Work on Charlie Ramp came in at $6 million, but the $5 million bid for Bravo Ramp was much lower than expected, providing considerable savings for the project.

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